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PBA: Nambatac recalls first practice with Yap: 'Nabulol ako'

From what it looks like, the keys to the Rain or Shine franchise have been handed to Rey Nambatac. The former Letran star truly blossomed in the last PBA season, giving the Elasto Painters some great playoff wins by way of his clutch performances. [Related: PBA: Nambatac continues to prove status as ROS’ top gun] The former first-round pick is getting all the opportunities to accelerate his development, getting the much-needed playing time all while playing with championship-winning veterans. Championship-winning veterans like James Yap. "Nabulol ako, hindi ako nakapag-salita ng maayos," Nambatac said on the PBA's Kamustahan as he recalled the moment he practiced with Yap for the first time. "Si Manong [James] kasi idol ko talaga since elementary pa ko. First day of practice ko, kinausap niya agad ako. Sa isip ko, 'panaginip lang yata to,'" he added. In his rookie season, Nambatac didn't see much playing time behind Rain or Shine's crew of veteran guards. But as he made his transition from college to pros, Yap's early piece of advice to Nambatac sure came in handy as Rey finally got his chance in his sophomore year. "Sinabi niya sakin na pagbutihin ko raw at hindi naman daw ganoon kahirap practice namin kasi professional na nga raw kami," Nambatac said. "At huli niyang sinabi sakin, i-guide niya raw ako para madali akong makapag-adjust," he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports10 hr. 35 min. ago Related News

Wallace, NASCAR s agent of change, doing what feels right

By DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Being an agent of change in NASCAR cuts both ways for Bubba Wallace. He is seen as a hero to some, particularly those who have longed for a Black driver to shake things up in a predominantly white sport. To others, the 26-year-old Wallace represents something else entirely and he has seen plenty of haters out on social media over his career. It has intensified in recent days. He has brushed them off, especially the ones accusing Wallace or his No. 43 team of being involved in a hoax, of somehow being behind the garage door pulldown rope fashioned as a noose that was found in their garage stall at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway last weekend. “You quickly realize,” Wallace said, “they don’t give a damn about you and I don’t give a damn about them.” It has been a remarkable and exhausting three weeks for Wallace since he helped spark NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its races and venues. That is seen as a sea change for the 72-year-old stock car series with its core Southern fan base, but then came the noose and a federal investigation that ultimately determined Wallace had not been the target of a hate crime. He’s been besieged with media requests and made the rounds on morning talk shows and chatted with late night hosts. Wallace even unified the sport when every one of the 40 teams on the grid lined up with Wallace and their series in an effort to show they do not and will not tolerate racism. The face of a movement is a tough haul for anyone, especially when he stands as the lone Black driver at the top level of NASCAR. “It’s just what I feel in my heart, what feels right,” Wallace said Friday. “I’m finally voicing my opinion on the tough subjects that a lot of people are afraid to touch on. I’m not afraid to speak my mind. I’ve done it and gotten in trouble and learned from it. People that know me, I’m 100% raw and real.” It’s part of his appeal, and why a small number of Black fans rushed the fence and cheered for Wallace after he finished 14th at Talladega. He wants more Black fans in NASCAR -- he said his social media following has exploded and scores of famous fans like LeBron James have offered support - and said he is ready to lead the charge. He would also like some of his newfound fame to lead to more sponsorship to fund the No. 43 Chevrolet for Richard Petty Motorsports. He's not going to change his approach for them. “Ever since I’ve been speaking out, I haven’t been thinking about my sponsors,” Wallace said. “I’ve been thinking about me being a human being and standing up for what’s right. I would hope that sponsors would see that and back me up on that.” But he’s tired. His free time has been chewed up and life in the spotlight as a national newsmaker has him “wore the hell out" and there are two more races this weekend for a team that has been running well. “It’s not like I wanted to be in this position or asked to be in this position,” Wallace said. “It just kind of happened." He is grateful NASCAR released the photo of the rope; NASCAR President Steve Phelps stated “the noose was real,” though it remains unknown who tied it. Phelps said NASCAR determined the noose was not in place when the October 2019 race weekend began but was created at some point during that weekend. “We can’t say it was directed toward me, which is good,” Wallace said. “But somebody still knows how to tie a noose. Whether they did it as a bad joke or not, who knows? It was good for the public to see. It still won’t change some people’s minds of me being a hoax. But it is what it is.” He has received support from NASCAR friends and foes, like fellow driver Aric Almirola who started a text with “we’re not friends and we don’t act like we are” but was ready to stand next to Wallace as a brother. Wallace even had fun on the Talladega grid after drivers pushed his car to the front, joking, “I don’t like half you guys, but I appreciate all of you guys.” NASCAR is at Pocono Raceway this weekend for Cup Series races on Saturday and Sunday, just one more piece of a grueling schedule where all eyes are on Wallace. “Let’s get away from what happened at Talladega,” Wallace said. “Let me go out and have some good races, have some bad races, try and figure out what the hell we’re going to do to rebound from those bad races and get back to race car life.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 27th, 2020Related News

Life before COVID, after COVID: Turon, lumpia, ballet on Zoom, life reformed treasure hunting

There are plenty of moving stories, tales of old-fashioned gumption and people helping people by buying a piece of (or a thousand) turon......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsJun 19th, 2020Related News

Dani Ravena can be the next leader of the Lady Eagles

Former Ateneo de Manila University star Denden Lazaro-Revilla sees libero Dani Ravena playing a bigger role for the Lady Eagles in their bid to retain their crown. Speaking on the Crossover podcast on Tuesday, the two-time UAAP champion said that aside from her defensive responsibilities, Ravena’s leadership will be needed by the Lady Eagles come Season 83 next year.    “I heard na she’s very vocal sa team and ‘yung energy niya na she brings on the court every time she steps in is a huge boost sa team,” said Lazaro-Revilla, who helped Ateneo win back-to-back titles in Seasons 76 and 77. “So she’s a vital cog in the Ateneo team right now.” The then sophomore Ravena anchored the Lady Eagles floor defense in Season 81 Finals against University of Sto. Tomas. Despite a quiet outing in the elimination round, Ravena played her role well in three games of the championship series averaging 14.3 digs and almost eight digs per match. With the possible departure of some of their senior players following the cancelled Season 82, Ravena’s leadership will be needed by Ateneo more than ever come Season 83 especially with young bloods coming in.    Lazaro-Revilla, who is set to play for ChocoMucho in the Premier Volleyball League, also praised Ravena’s improvement skills-wise considering that Miriam College product is just a converted defensive specialist. “Actually malaki yung in-improve niya given na she was only converted from a setter. She was a setter in high school then she was converted into a libero,” she said. “So malaking responsibility yun kasi she rose into the spotlight and then of course Ateneo is looking to win a championship. That’s not an easy task,” Lazaro-Revilla added. Aside from Ravena, the multi-titled libero also mentioned rookie libero Roma Doromal as vital piece on floor defense for Ateneo.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 19th, 2020Related News

BATCH CLASH: Do you agree? Season 76 Lady Eagles will beat Season 81 Lady Eagles?

Remember when we did a Batch Clash piece pitting the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles champion team of Season 76 against the title squad of Season 81? ABS-CBN Sports laid down the statistics, team composition, strengths and the competition faced by the two Ateneo teams and let the readers decide who would fare better if they were to square off in a match.    [Related story: BATCH CLASH: Season 76 Lady Eagles vs. Season 81 Lady Eagles] It would really be interesting to see these Lady Eagles go at it, right? But again, who will emerge victorious between the two batches of UAAP champions? Without batting an eyelash, Ricky Palou, former Ateneo athletic director and one of the brilliant minds behind turning the struggling Lady Eagles into one the best women’s volleyball programs in the UAAP, gave it to the breakthrough Ateneo squad.     “I’d go for Batch 76,” Palou said during his interview on the Crossover podcast. The chief of Sports Vision, which is the organizer of the Premier Volleyball League, backed up his claim by pointing out that Batch 76 went through a tougher journey to the throne. Batch 76 was in a rebuilding stage that year after the departure of the Fab Five and under a new system with the arrival of Thai coach Tai Bundit. For him, the Lady Eagles of Season 76 are tougher. The heartstrong Batch 76 will definitely win.         “I saw how they, Coach Tai that was his first year here. He worked them really very, very hard. I was looking at some of these players and some of them were thinking of quitting because training was tough. Most of them held on,” recalled Palou, who together with the amiable and media savvy former team manager Tony Boy Liao, is the architect of the successful Ateneo volleyball program. “I figured the training that they went through and the games that they went through, even competition that they went through. So, I’d go for Batch 76,” he added.   HEIGHT vs. MAGIC Man-to-man both Alyssa Valdez and libero Denden Lazaro-Revilla agreed that Batch 76 is at a disadvantage in terms of height.         “Advantage ng Season 81 is really height,” said the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player. “We don’t have that nu’ng Season 76.” “Talo kami sa height,” Lazaro-Revilla echoed. Batch 81 boasts of a pair of 5-foot-10 and very skilled middles in Bea De Leon and Maddie Madayag and a 6-foot-2 wing spiker in Kat Tolentino.   “Our middles are Amy (Ahomiro) and Aeriel (Patnongon) and Marge (Tejada) and Ana (Gopico). But Marge and Ana got injured. So we have like two lang so parang hindi namin alam. Libero kami lamang,” said Valdez. “Lamang sa height. Sa setter Jia (Morado) and Deanna (Wong)? Deanna’s taller I think,” Lazaro-Revilla said. But what they lack in ceiling, Batch 76 compensates with its superb and versatile wing spikers and solid floor defense. “I think (for Batch 81) it’s Jules (Samonte) and Ponggay (Gaston). So our open hitters would be me and Ella (de Jesus). Kay Ella pa lang, alam mo na,” Valdez said with confidence. “Tiwala kami kay Ella. Utility namin would be Mich (Morente) or Kim (Gequillana). And they have Kat.” “It’s really height vs. magic?” added Valdez. Anchored behind the consistency of the Iron Eagle Denden Lazaro and with the support of Morente and De Jesus, Batch 76 will give Batch 81 a hard time scoring. “I think lamang namin is floor defense. May tiwala ako sa teammates ko,” said Lazaro-Revilla, a two-time Best Receiver winner and Season 76 Best Digger. In which Valdez chimed in: “Si Den, si Ella and Michifu (Morente) kasi ako wala talaga kong ginagawa na floor defense.” “Hindi ka lang rume-receive pero dumedepensa ka naman,” quipped Lazaro-Revilla. “Binabawi mo naman sa mga palo mo and serves.” Looking back, Palou stressed that Batch 76’s Cinderella run is a feat that is tough to beat. Besides, that Lady Eagles team made a miracle when they survived a string of do-or-die games before toppling the four-peat-seeking and thrice-to-beat powerhouse De La Salle University in the Finals.   “But you know, you look at the competition then, look at the team of La Salle, it was a powerhouse, Aby Marano, Kim Fajardo, you look at NU they have the Santiago sisters (Dindin and Jaja), they have Myla Pablo. You look at FEU they have (Bernadeth) Pons, (Toni) Basas, all those good players,” Palou said. “So even competition-wise, the competition they fought then was better and stronger than what they had in the other group.” “I agree,” said Lazaro-Revilla. “I mean the competition that we went through nu’ng time na yun. It was tough for us because given na we were a rebuilding team. So for us it was really tough.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 18th, 2020Related News

Sotto: Decriminalizing libel not easy as Bible prohibits lying

  By VANNE ELAINE P. TERRAZOLA Senate President Vicente Sotto III said yesterday it might be difficult to decriminalize libel, noting that lying is also prohibited in the Bible. Sotto shared his view on the matter after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. appealed for a piece of legislation that would just fine individuals who […].....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 18th, 2020Related News

European intellectual influences on Jose Rizal’s ‘Noli’ and ‘Fili’

This piece is written to celebrate Jose Rizal’s date of birth on June 19. (He was born in the year 1861)......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: FinanceJun 17th, 2020Related News

Commentary: PPPs eyed for a win-win pandemic recovery

On their final piece, commentators suggest outlets for public-private partnerships (PPPs) in select industries......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: FinanceJun 16th, 2020Related News

Risa: ‘Stop rape, victim-blaming’

Do not rape women. It was Senator Risa Hontiveros’ piece of advice to would-be offenders, as she stressed that victim-blaming should stop. “Here’s an effective anti-rape tip: Do not rape,” Hontiveros, chair of the Senate Committee on Women, wrote in a Twitter post. “If you are thinking of doing it, stop yourself,” she said. Her […] The post Risa: ‘Stop rape, victim-blaming’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsJun 15th, 2020Related News

PBA: Pingris brushes up on his painting skills

Just like his buddy June Mar, Marc Pingris is using his time on quarantine to get in on his artistic side. The veteran Magnolia forward has also given painting a go, finishing a pretty colorful piece that went straight to his shelf. [Related: PBA: June Mar shows artistic side with sunset painting] "Dahil sa quarantine, mas natuto tayo na maging matiyaga and to appreciate ang maliliit na bagay sa buhay," Ping wrote on his Instagram account.         View this post on Instagram                   Dahil sa quarantine, mas natuto tayo na maging matiyaga and to appreciate ang maliliit na bagay sa buhay. Parang painting lang. Kailangan natin ng tiyaga, sa una magulo pero unti unti din lalabas ang ganda nito.!???????? #trylang #puso @kolourakademia.inc A post shared by Marc Pingris (@jeanmarc15) on Jun 5, 2020 at 1:48am PDT "Parang painting lang. Kailangan natin ng tiyaga, sa una magulo pero unti-unti din lalabas ang ganda nito," he added. Ping's good pal June Mar also recently unveiled one of his latest pieces. The San Miguel Beer star specializes in sunset paintings. [Related: The art of James Yap] Another good friend of Ping, James Yap, has been into the art game for a while too, investing good money on a number of pieces.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 8th, 2020Related News

JK Rowling’s tweets on transgender people spark outrage

LOS ANGELES: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling faced backlash from the LGBTQ community and others. She criticized a Devex opinion piece with the phrase “people who menstruate.” “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” she tweeted, then continued talking about biological sex. Rowling said she would march “if you were discriminated […].....»»

Source: Manilatimes_net Manilatimes_netCategory: NewsJun 8th, 2020Related News

Ode to joy

After being so totally engrossed with a symphonic orchestra’s flash mob performance of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” the classical piece from the German composer has become today’s column title because it is about the man of the hour who gives us doses of kilig that make us giddy and happy. Yes, no other day but today, let us talk about Hyun Bin......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: MoviesJun 8th, 2020Related News

MPBL orders playoff teams to honor 20 percent of player contracts

The MPBL is going out of its way to make sure the contracts of its players are still upheld in the continuing COVID-19 crisis. In a memo released last Tuesday, Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes reminded the regional league's member teams to give their players allowances amounting to at least 20 percent of their contracts. A day later, Duremdes furthered on the subject in sportswriter Cedelf Tupas' The Crossover Podcast. "Actually, we have copies of the contracts of players. Makikita natin doon kung sino ang may live contracts pa," he said. The league commissioner explained that because the Lakan Cup is now supposedly in the semifinals and finals phase, only four teams remain and only four teams have to fulfill their obligations to their players. "Ang natira na lang naman, four teams so they have to honor at least 20 percent ng mga live contracts dahil to me, it's valid," he said. Without a doubt, that is nothing but good news to all of the Knights, Supercrunch, Tigers, and Steel still waiting for the resumption of action. And for all of the players of each and every one of the MPBL's 31 member teams, Duremdes has this piece of advice. "Be strong mentally, yan ang pinakaimportante rito. Basketball players, I believe, athletic yan e so konting conditioning lang, back-to-form na ulit," he shared. "Pero ang crucial, is mental. Don't think na you're losing hope. There's light at the end of the tunnel." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 4th, 2020Related News

First title with TNT was the best for Ranidel De Ocampo

Before finally retiring from basketball, Ranidel De Ocampo sure had a colorful career in the PBA and for Gilas Pilipinas. RDO won six championships in the PBA and became a national team legend for his great work for Gilas. Retiring as one of the true greats, De Ocampo says there's two moments that really stood out from his career. "Syempre yung laban natin sa South Korea, FIBA-Asia 2013," RDO told Beau Belga on Extra Rice. Seven years ago, the Philippines beat South Korea in the semifinals of the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships in Manila. The victory allowed the national team to advance to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. "Yung silver medal natin at naka-balik tayo sa World Cup, yun ang highlight ng career ko," De Ocampo added. In the PBA, RDO says his first-ever title is the best. After his Air21 Express lost the 2008 Fiest Conference Finals in seven games to Ginebra, RDO found himself traded to Talk 'N Text. De Ocampo's first game for Talk 'N Text was against the Express on Christmas Day 2008. He sank the final basket as TNT escaped with a 109-108 win. RDO ended up becoming the missing piece for the Tropang Texters that would go on to win the 2009 Philippine Cup, beating Alaska after seven games in the Finals. De Ocampo would be with TNT until 2017. "Sa PBA, yung first championship ko sa TNT. December 2008 ako na-trade, nag-champion ata kami January-February 2009," RDO said. "Kaka-trade ko lang, nag-champion agad. Kakagaling ko lang din sa Finals nun sa Air21, kalaban Ginebra nun. Tapos ito naman. Nung na-trade ako sa TNT, pakiramdam ko kailangang-kailangan nila ako nun, sobrang excited ako mag-laro, lahat sila gusto manalo. Sakto naman unang laro ko, naka-hit agad ako ng winning shot. Kaya yun ang pinaka-memorable sakin," he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 4th, 2020Related News

PBA: New diet and extra shooting doing wonders for RR Pogoy

RR Pogoy was a top prospect when he entered the PBA, and his status was only proven when he won Rookie of the Year in 2017. Since then, Pogoy has made a steady climb as a true key piece for TNT, and his rise to become a PBA star was accelerated and became complete last season for the KaTropa. Pogoy, always a reliable defender and shooter, became a top-10 scorer in the PBA in 2019. His 16.6 points per game actually led the KaTropa, beating out teammates Troy Rosario and Jayson Castro. A key turning point for Pogoy's rise can be attributed to his health and nutrition, which was emphasized when active consultant Mark Dickel first joined the team late in the 2018 season. "Binago yung diet ko," Pogoy said during the PBA's Kamustahan session online. "Nagpa-gaan ako ng timbang, bawas-bawas ako sa rice, and more on healthy foods ang kinakain ko," he added. On top of his new diet, Pogoy also worked extra for his shooting. The results were seen immediately as Pogoy made 124 total three-point shots on 35 percent shooting last year. Pogoy peaked in the mid-season Commissioner's Cup, where he converted a career-high 10 triples in one game, making him the the fourth of five players to accomplish such feat. "Alas-9 yung ensayo pero 6:30 pa lang nandoo na kami ni Coach Mark, nage-extra na kami. Siguro doon ko nakuha yung ganda ng laro ko," Pogoy said. "Kumpiyansa ako kasi alam ko ini-ensayo ko araw-araw. Sa awa ng Diyos, gumanda ang laro ko. May bunga talaga pag magta-tanim ka," he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 29th, 2020Related News

WHAT IF… Bea De Leon missed the rest of Season 77?

Ateneo de Manila University achieved perfection in UAAP Season 77 after the Lady Eagles swept their way to a second straight women’s volleyball title. Stacked with powerful hitters in Alyssa Valdez, Michelle Morente, Ella de Jesus and Jho Maraguinot, Ateneo’s offense was unstoppable. The Katipunan-based squad also had prized setter Jia Morado and libero Denden Lazaro with veteran middle Amy Ahomiro. But another vital cog that made Ateneo a super team that year was the presence of rookie middle Bea De Leon. The former Poveda standout earned a starting spot in the Tai Bundit-mentored team, which the year before completed a Cinderella story with a championship.    De Leon proved her worth and even had a strong case for the coveted Rookie of the Year award. She was having a splendid season until she was forced to miss three games after suffering a finger injury during practice with Ateneo already in a 10-game romp. De Leon chose to just have her left index finger stitched and have therapy than go under the knife. She returned just in time for the pivotal end of the elimination round match against archrival De La Salle University. Getting the green light to play on the eve of the game, De Leon was surprised as she was included in the starting line-up and she did not disappoint.       De Leon, who risked aggravating her heavily bandaged finger, scored 11 points including three kill blocks in the Lady Eagles’ 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 27-25, victory that sent Ateneo straight to the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. From there, Ateneo made history. But what if De Leon underwent surgery? One thing is for sure, De Leon would be out of commission for an extended period if not for the remainder of the season. Without her, Ateneo would surely be in a precarious situation in that decisive end of the elims match against the Lady Spikers. Taking down DLSU won’t be easy for the Lady Eagles to begin with. In their first meeting, Ateneo had to come back from a set down to outlast DLSU in a five sets match. Without De Leon, Coach Tai would be forced to put in either veteran but seldom-used Aeriel Patnongon or another rookie Maddie Madayag to help Ahomiro. Both rode the bench in the first Ateneo-DLSU encounter. DLSU, which was coming off a six-game win run, would be in a favorable position to exploit its height advantage and would’ve had an open sky for the Lady Spikers’ hitters.    And if DLSU won that game against an Ateneo squad missing its starting middle, that would put the semifinals in the usual Final Four format. The Lady Eagles will still have a twice-to-beat advantage and would still overpower Far Eastern University. As for DLSU, coming off a win over Ateneo, the Lady Spikers would be in high spirits against National University. The twice-to-beat Lady Spikers might not need to go to a do-or-die decider against the Lady Bulldogs. Probably, DLSU would have been spared of losing its best scorer Ara Galang from a harrowing knee injury. Of course, the Finals would’ve been a different story. Ateneo will be missing De Leon’s Finals average of eight points per game and a vital piece both on offense and defense.       But then again, the Lady Eagles still had its ace Valdez and their reliable wings to take care of the scoring as well as the steady Ahomiro. We can never know what the outcome of that Finals series would have been if De Leon missed the rest of the season. But we can surely say that De Leon’s return from that finger injury proved to be a decisive moment in the Lady Eagles' historic perfect season.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 27th, 2020Related News

What is RITM?

This is a sidebar report to our special report: RITM, the missing piece in the Philippines’ mass testing capacity vs. COVID-19 By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO Bulatlat.com Established in 1981, RITM was an outcome of a series of negotiations between the Philippine and Japanese governments. The 50-bed capacity hospital was tasked to plan and implement… The post What is RITM? appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Source: Bulatlat BulatlatCategory: NewsMay 26th, 2020Related News

RITM, the missing piece in the Philippines’ mass testing capacity vs. COVID-19

The decrease in the RITM budget is also coupled with the decline in the allotment of other related health concerns, such as the Epidemiology and Surveillance Department, with a 40-percent drop from P247 million in 2019 to P101 million this year. Since 2015, no additional isolation rooms have been built. Related story: What is RITM?… The post RITM, the missing piece in the Philippines’ mass testing capacity vs. COVID-19 appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Source: Bulatlat BulatlatCategory: NewsMay 26th, 2020Related News

WHAT IF...Tony Koyfman played for the Blue Eagles in UAAP Season 80 Finals?

In UAAP Season 79, Ateneo de Manila University completed an amazing sweep of the men’s tournament. The Blue Eagles stamped their class on the competition thanks to the powerful tandem of Marck Espejo and Tony Koyfman and the then graduating pair of Rex Intal and Josh Villanueva as they went unbeaten in 16 games, including a pair of thrilling five-setters in the championship series against National University. However, the following season proved to be huge challenge for Ateneo not just because of the departure of Intal and Villanueva but also with the absence of Koyfman. The Russian-American skipped Season 80 because of health issues. With the 6-foot-8 opposite hitter out, Espejo had to shoulder most of the scoring load for the Blue Eagles in his swan song. Ateneo managed to advance to the Finals, but Espejo, who made history with his 55-point explosion in the semis against Far Eastern University, could only do so much against the onslaught of the Bulldogs as the Blue Eagles' three-year reign crumbled in two games.        Ateneo sorely missed the services of Koyfman in that series. But what if Koyfman suited up for the Blue Eagles in that championship showdown? Koyfman would have given Ateneo an added offensive threat, first of all. The Blue Eagles that season still had one the one of the league’s best playmakers in Ish Polvorosa and with him controlling the offense and with more options at hand, it would surely have caused problems for the Bulldogs’ net defense. Koyfman’s presence would have eased the scoring burden of Espejo, who was the obvious marked man in that series. In Season 79, Koyfman averaged 14.5 points per game in the Finals on his way to winning the Finals Most Valuable Player award. With the tandem of Koyfman and Espejo at the wings, it would also free up other scoring threats like Ron Medalla, John Rivera, Gian Glorioso and middle Chu Njigha. Koyfman would’ve also been an imposing defensive piece for Ateneo at the net. With him around to help Glorioso and Njigha, the Blue Eagles would’ve given NU’s top spikers Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad a hard time penetrating their attacks or pose a challenge for Kim Malabunga and Francis Saura at the middle.           Another key contribution that he could've given the Blue Eagles was his championship experience. The Bulldogs paraded an intact core. It would've had been a better matchup had the Katipunan-based squad had another veteran available.  Although, we cannot say if Ateneo can indeed complete the four-peat with Koyfman around against a very determined NU squad, we can agree that he was a missing piece to the Blue Eagles championship puzzle that season.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 20th, 2020Related News

EO 114

The title of this piece refers to the President’s latest executive order that promulgates a new “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa” (BP2) program, about which I also wrote here some weeks back before the EO itself was issued......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: NewsMay 19th, 2020Related News